Next Friday, September 30th, is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. There are many events happening throughout the city that you can attend to help support Indigenous families and communities on a day for somber reflection.
If you head down to LeBreton Flats Park, you can join APTN and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. for Remembering the Children: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This event is commemorating residential school attendees who never made it home. The event will be broadcast live, and will serve as a place for those affected to mourn their losses and to educate non-Indigenous people about the injustices that were perpetrated by residential schools.
Along with this, you can also visit various branches of the Ottawa Public Library, which have opened their doors to raise awareness and support public education on the impact of residential schools. The seven branches of OPL that are open are Beaverbrook, Cumberland, Greenboro, Main, Nepean Centrepointe, Ruth E. Dickinson, and St. Laurent.
You can also join the Assembly of Seven Generations at Beechwood Cemetery between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. for a number of events, including a screening of the short film Spirit Bear and Children Make History, a 45-minute Reconciliation Tour, which will teach you about key figures in the history of residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission‘s 94 Calls To Action, and action tables that give visitors the opportunity to put the 94 Calls To Action into practice.
The Assembly of Seven Generations is also involved with the Reconciling History Walking tour of downtown Ottawa, where each stop will give people an opportunity to learn about the roles that non-Indigenous people and the Federal government played in the residential school system, as well as what lessons history can teach us to better address the contemporary injustices experienced by Indigenous peoples.
If you’re looking for something a bit further away from the downtown core, Indigenous Experiences, in collaboration with the 60’s Scoop Network, will be hosting a Reconciliation Dinner at Mādahòkì Farm, where Indigenous and non-Indigenous chefs will come together to prepare a variety of delicious traditional Indigenous foods. Tickets for this event are $150 per person, and each ticket will provide a residential school, day school, or 60’s Scoop survivor and their family with a complimentary ticket. For more information on the Reconciliation Dinner, click here.
In addition to all of these events, you can tune in to 95.7 Elmnt fm for A Day to Listen, where our station, along with many other stations around Canada, will be amplifying Indigenous voices. You can listen along to hear stories from Indigenous leaders, residential school survivors, elders, musicians, and teachers. A Day To Listen will be hosted by William Prince and Celeigh Cardinal, and will be broadcast from 6 am to 6 pm on September 30th.
A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide support for former residential school students. To speak to someone, call 1-866-925-4419.